The Colorado Avalanche have had a bit of a silly schedule up until tomorrow. Tied with the Ottawa Senators, Boston Bruins, San Jose Sharks, and Carolina Hurricanes for least games played this season at 16, the Avs have had four four-day breaks since the season opener against the New York Rangers. In some ways, it feels like the season hasn’t really gotten started because of them. It’s actually not all bad, though, if you disregard the fact that the Avs have been able to carry over zero momentum from game to game. Considering the injury bug has struck the Avs fast and hard this season, these breaks have been a blessing in disguise.
Tyson Jost, Colin Wilson, J.T. Compher, and Patrik Nemeth have all spend a considerable amount of time out of action so far this year. Jost has missed 10 games, Wilson and Compher have both missed 6 each, and Nemeth has missed 4. Hypothetically, if the Avs had played as many games as the league-leading Pittsburgh Penguins at 20 in the same amount of time, Jost would have missed 14 games, Wilson and Compher (probably) at 10, and Nemeth at eight.
Those extra 16 man-games lost would put the Avs at 64 instead of the 50 they are at currently, which would be good for 5th, maybe 4th most in the league.
Tyson Jost has not played since October 11th after suffering a questionable hit into the boards. He returned to play the rest of the game, but was diagnosed with the infamous ‘lower body injury’ and has not played a game since. He will play a big role upon his return and will probably slot into the 2C position, replacing Matt Duchene. The Avalanche are an objectively better team with Jost in the lineup so luckily he has not missed as many games as he would have if the schedule were ‘normal’ without the four long breaks.
Patrik Nemeth is another player the Avs have missed since his injury. He has been a large piece of the defensive core since he was picked up on waivers to begin the season. He has averaged 17:29 TOI and has been trusted with a 60.4 dZS%.
Ultimately, these long breaks have sucked for Avs fans, myself included, but they will prove to be useful in getting important players on the team healthy again, as Wilson is healthy, Compher will continue to heal his broken finger as it was apparent he was not ready to return during the NHL Global Series, Jost should be ready to return Tomorrow against the Washington Capitals. There is no timetable for Nemeth’s return as there has been no news of his injury. With Jost hopefully returning tomorrow and newly acquired Vladislav Kamenev being called up, along with A.J. Greer and Rocco Grimaldi being sent down to San Antonio, expect Gabriel Bourque and either Wilson or Matt Nieto to sit in their place.
The Avalanche take on the Washington Capitals in Denver tomorrow at 7 PM MST.